Professional Jeweler Archive: Big Store, Personal Touches

February 2005

The Store / Image


Big Store, Personal Touches

Service remains a top priority at Smyth Jewelers' new big store

BY MICHAEL THOMPSON


Smyth Jewelers is celebrating its 90th anniversary with an entirely new store. Not just any store either: the new 50,000-sq-ft. building in Timonium, MD, is the largest single jewelry store in the country.

The store boasts many more customer-sensitive features than the old one, starting with the first thing they experience as they arrive: a parking lot for at least 350 vehicles.

Before construction began, co-owners Tom and Bobby Smyth asked each of their sales associates what would make the departments work better. The responses formed the blueprint for the layout of the new store and led to several changes in the way the departments look and how they are staffed.

Bigger Space, Bigger Staff

More people were hired to staff the generally larger departments. “The staff increased from 165 to 180,” says Mark Moats, store manager.

Service and repair windows increased from eight to 15, wedding-band showcases jumped from 12 to 18 and individual customer diamond booths went from eight to 18.

The Lladro display area grew to 600 square feet, and the giftware section is triple the size it was in the former store.

“You Are Here”

Each showcase island is marked with a sign so customers know where they can find each product category. Mirrors are placed at regular intervals on showcases so customers can see themselves as they try on pieces.

Customers shop amid a new color scheme. Wood-grain and tan replaced blue and gray. The softer tones are down-home comfortable, says Moats.

The overall effect is to make the new store’s space work to its advantage rather than appear too large or impersonal. More staff means customers are served more quickly in each department, and the new repair centers keep any waiting to a bare minimum.

Smyth Jewelers adds staff and creates a warmer environment to stay cozy when expanding to 50,000 square feet, making it the largest jewelry store in the country.

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications